BEIJING: A Pakistani parliamentary delegation has proposed to their Chinese counterparts to establish engineering and medical universities in Pakistan for those Pakistani students who could not afford to study in China.
“We have proposed to the Chinese officials to establish Pak-China Engineering University and Pak-China Medical University in Pakistan for providing higher education facilities to those students who could not afford to go to China,” Riaz Fatyana MNA told the Media here on Wednesday.
Fatyana is heading a three-member parliamentary delegation comprising MNAs Junaid Akbar and Mehnaz Akbar Aziz at the third Interregional Seminar on the achievement of SDGs for Parliaments of Developing Countries held here.
The seminar was co-hosted by National People’s Congress (NPC) of China and the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU).
He said around 22,000 Pakistani students were currently studying in China and due to which a large amount of foreign exchange was being transferred to China.
Riaz Fatyana said the delegation discussed different issues including the energy sector, roads and railways during the seminar.
“We presented our point of view and our members of the parliament actively participated in different sessions of the seminar,” he added.
He informed that during the discussions and debates on various topics, the Pakistani delegation openly showed its concerns over issues including an imbalance in the imports and exports and the debt repayment etc.
“We have informed the Chinese side that Pakistan has surplus wheat and rice and they should import these crops from Pakistan helping us to narrow the gap in the imports and exports,” he added.
He said that the government wanted early laying of fiber optic between China and Pakistan as early as possible, adding, “We have proposed to the Chinese companies to come forward and invest in the energy sector particularly renewable energy like wind, solar and hydel in Pakistan.”
Riaz Fatyana said the delegation also recommended to start work on the social, education and sanitation sectors as well as industrial and economic zones being completed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework.
He said after the revival of economic activities, people would get employment and added that the communication sector was being upgraded.
At present, the energy projects were up to 70 percent of the CPEC, he said and added, two high voltage power transmission lines were being constructed.
The MNA said that 72 percent of electricity was being produced through coal-powered plants while the remaining hydel and wind electricity projects would be completed at an early date
He pointed out that the efficiency of Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Plant was not up to the mark as a result of environmental issues and proposed to make efforts to increase its production.
He said the delegation apprised the Chinese side that more Pakistani companies, businessmen, technicians, and skilled labors should be engaged in the CPEC projects enabling them to increase their share and get more employment opportunities.
The Chinese side assured the delegation to look into the recommendations and proposal presented by the members of Pakistani delegation during the seminar.
The delegation will also visit Chinese cities of Xian and Nanjing before leaving for home from Shanghai.
MAJU, Azerbaijan’s varsity sign MoU for academic cooperation
KARACHI: Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, Karachi (MAJU) and Khazar University, Baku, Azerbaijan have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for academic cooperation with each other.
MAJU Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences, Dr. Kamran Azim and Rector, Khizar University, Dr.Hassan Niknafs have signed MoU.
This agreement is based on the reciprocity principle and expresses the genuine interest of both universities in exchanging students, scholars, academic information and dual degree programs, said a statement here on Sunday.
As per MoU, MAJU and Khazar University besides exchanging students and faculty/ staff will encourage the development and implementation of visiting scholars/tutors, cultural exchange, cooperative /collaborative research projects, cooperative (joint and double) degree and joint summer programs at respective campuses. The term of this agreement shall be five academic years that is 2018 to 2023.
Both Universities will cooperate for short term training programs/ projects and service – learning programs, cooperative and exchange lecturing plans and lecture content, conferences and seminars, academic supervision of graduate /post-graduate students.
As per MoU in the event of students exchange, specific arrangement for payment of related expenses, including round-trip travel, board, lodging, tuition and health insurance will be agreed upon by both universities in advance.
Coventry Uni. delegation calls on Chairman HEC
ISLAMABAD: A delegation of Coventry University, London called on Chairman, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr. Tariq Banuri and discussed feasible collaborations between the two organizations.
Dr. Banuri welcomed the delegation to HEC and briefed them about the HEC’s initiatives and achievements regarding promotion of higher education in Pakistan. He said international collaboration will be helpful in resolving local issues. He stressed the need for research based on the problem-solving approach in order to help address the problems facing the country.
The delegation comprised Vice-Chancellor, Associate Professor Gary Armstrong, International Business Development, Prof Richard Dashwood, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Christopher Bland, Group Director, Quality Assurance, Associate Head Dr. Farzana Aslam.
The delegation shared the strength of Coventry University as well as the success of industry-university linkages. They dwelt in detail on the level of excellence in their engineering, research centers. Apart from serious involvement and funding from industry, it was revealed that the Government investment is also a major part in the uplift of the varsity. The Coventry University works on the premise that teaching and learning are deeply connected with the industry, they informed.
Dr. Farzana Aslam explained the importance of embedded employability which was the main feature of their programme where each graduate is taught skills for employment making every student fit for work. They also train their students to apply for placement in all over the world, where students are motivated with a suitable academic which results in the transfer of skills for a year.
Dr. Banuri expressed interest in the university’s achievements and stressed the need for bilateral collaboration for the promotion of higher education and research. He shed light on the HEC Split Ph.D. programme under which Pakistani scholars will spend two-three months every year in the university for research and other activities. The HEC will provide a monthly stipend and discounted bench fee during scholars’ stay in the UK, he added. He said Pakistan would welcome support in capacity building, knowledge and technology transfer, and research assessment mechanisms.
Earlier, the delegation held a series of meetings with HEC’s senior management and heads of various divisions as well as representatives of selected universities for interaction on different areas of interest including provision of PhD, joint research endeavours, academic partnerships, two-way mobility of faculty and students, transnational education, academic audit and teaching excellence framework.
The delegation highlighted that the research at Coventry University is based on five key themes namely Safety and Security, Intelligent Products and Processes, Creative Cultures, Sustainability and Resilience and Health, and Well-being.
Coventry University has over 1000 researchers (increasing to 1500 by 2021) working in 15 challenge-led interdisciplinary research centers. In addition to external research funding, the university is committed to contributing an investment of over £120 million in research programmes between 2014 and 2021.
In their meeting at the Research and Development (R&D) Division, HEC gave a brief overview on the initiatives, functions, achievements of R&D programmes and two R&D initiatives for the proposed Pak-UK Gateway project namely “Development of Research Excellence Framework (REF)’’ and “Mega Sectoral Research Grant”.
Possibilities of placement of HEC Ph.D. scholars in various priority areas at Coventry University also came under discussion and the delegation was informed that HEC has already availed partial fee waiver from many UK universities.
Moreover, capacity building opportunities available for Pakistani faculty, Quality Assurance implementation mechanism, and ranking criteria for universities were also discussed in the meetings with the heads of HEC divisions.
Globally 300m children are not in school: UNICEF
UNITED NATIONS: ”Over 300 million children globally between the age of five and 17 years are not in school, the United Nations Children’s Fund said in a new report.
More than one-third of them, or about 104 million, are in countries affected by conflict or disaster, the report titled “A future stolen: young and out-of-school” said Wednesday.
Additionally, it said one in five young people between 15-17 years old in countries affected by conflicts and disasters have never even entered any school and two in five have never completed primary school.
The report looks at the education situation of children and young people from pre-primary to upper secondary age across all countries, including those affected by humanitarian emergencies.
“When a country is hit by conflict or disaster, its children and young people are victimized twice,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director.
“In the near term, their schools are damaged, destroyed, occupied by military forces or even deliberately attacked, and they join the millions of young people out of school and as the years progress they seldom return. In the long term they and the countries they live in will continue to face perpetuating cycles of poverty,” she said.
The report details that one-in-five youth, aged 15 to 17, who live in countries affected by conflict or disaster have never been in a formal classroom, while two-in-five never completed primary school.
Nearly 303 million youth between ages five and 17, around one-in-five globally, are out of school. One-third of them live in conflict or disaster-affected countries, according to the report launched ahead of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly.
Moreover, greater than half of the out-of-school primary-school-age children live in emergency-affected countries. It also points out that poverty remains the most significant barrier to education globally, leaving the poorest primary-school-age children four times more likely to be out of school compared to their peers from the richest households.
UNICEF said that with less than four percent of its global humanitarian appeals dedicated to education, the report calls for more investment in quality education from pre-primary to upper-secondary, in a safe environment within countries affected by complex humanitarian emergencies and protracted crises.
By current trends, there will be more than 1.3 billion youth aged 10 to 19 by 2030, an eight percent increase. “This is a critical moment in history,” Ms. Fore said. Providing the future workforce with quality education and better employment prospects will yield greater economic and social dividends, according to the report.
“If we act wisely and urgently, we can empower and skill young people to be prepared to create peaceful and prosperous societies,” the UNICEF chief spelled out. “The alternative is too bleak. We cannot afford to fail,” she concluded.